It was just a few days ago when Derek Kraus was celebrating his 15th birthday. He put the icing on his birthday cake on Saturday night at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin by becoming the youngest winner in ARCA Midwest Tour history.
The young pilot dominated in his breakthrough win by leading all 101 laps in the Bill Meiller Memorial event at the 1/3-mile oval. The victory wasn’t an easy drive as he fought to keep the lead on numerous restarts and held off a late charge from Dennis Prunty to get the checkered flag.
He knew it would be a challenge to hold off the veteran in the closing stages of the race.
“I knew he was good and I knew he started eighth and worked his way up to the front,” Kraus said. “I knew his car was pretty good and just had to hit my marks.”
Prunty thought he would have something for Kraus, but ran into a situation with about 30 laps to go.
“I bounced off the wall pretty well and knocked the tow out and moved the rear end over a little bit,” Prunty explained. “If it wasn’t for that, I may have had more for him, but he ran a good race.
“I almost pulled off the track, I never hit that hard in my life and kept going, it was pretty decent so I kept going.”
Skylar Holzhausen finished third with Andrew Morrissey in fourth. Paul Shafer Jr. rounded out the top five.
Shafer’s finish will make a big cut into Ty Majeski’s current lead in the ARCA Midwest Tour point standings with two races to go.
“Well, we had a good run and the car is in one piece. I fought and did everything I could on the outside to beat Derek, but just couldn’t get it done and lost a few spots in the end,” Shafer said after the race. “Overall, not a bad day for my first time at the Dells. As far as points, I still don’t know where I’m at, I just want to win a race and will do whatever it takes to make that happen.”
Majeski, with the support of ARCA Midwest Tour Promoter Gregg McKarns, traveled to Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota to try to improve his chances of capturing the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Championship.
The updated point standings were not available at the press deadline.
For Derek Kraus, his young racing career is off to a great start after taking over the wheel from his father Mark Kraus last year. So far in nine career starts in the ARCA Midwest Tour, he has one victory, three top-five, and four top-10 finishes. He tied his father with career top-five’s with Saturday’s victory.
The next ARCA Midwest Tour race is Saturday, September 24 at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota.
Speed51.com Speed Central details from Saturday’s race can be found at: http://speed51.com/speed-central-arca-midwest-tour-dells-motor-speedway-wi/
-By Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
ARCA MIDWEST TOUR
Bill Meiller Memorial 101
|5||7||Paul Shafer Jr||101|
|16||7jd||John DeAngelis Jr.||101|